Recently, our two older kidnicks were asked at a function to share a favorite Christmas memory or tradition. Lollipop Pop talked of going to her grandparents' home and reading a prayer from a special book.
Since my sister's children and our's have been little, the adults in our family have taken turns reading this poem each year. Now that the grandchildren are old enough to read they are included in the honor of reading it.
This year, it was Shaggy's turn.
A Prayer for Children We pray for children who put chocolate fingers everywhere, who like to be tickled, who stomp in puddles and ruin their new pants, who sneak Popsicles before supper, who erase holes in math workbooks, who can never find their shoes.
And we pray for those who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire, who've never squeaked across the floor in new sneakers, who never "counted potatoes," who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead, who never go to the circus, who live in an X-rated world.
We pray for children who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions, who sleep with the dog and bury goldfish, who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money, who cover themselves with Band-Aids and sing off-key, who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink, who slurp their soup.
And we pray for those who never get dessert, who watch their parents watch them die, who have no safe blanket to drag behind, who can't find any bread to steal, who don't have any rooms to clean up, whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser, whose monsters are real.
We pray for children who spend all their allowance before Tuesday, who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food, who like ghost stories, who shove dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the tub, who get visits from the tooth fairy, who don't like to be kissed in front of the car pool, who squirm in church and scream in the phone, whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us cry.
And we pray for those whose nightmares come in the daytime, who will eat anything, who have never seen a dentist, who aren't spoiled by anybody, who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep, who live and move, but have no being.
We pray for children who want to be carried and for those who must. For those we never give up on, and for those who don't get a chance. For those we smother, and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer.
On a side note, the book we read from resides at my mom's house, so I began to use the internet to copy it for this post. I discovered that many people have copied this prayer and taking the liberty of changing words...maybe to make parts less painful and other more politically correct...who knows. Anyway, I went to Mom's and borrow her book. What you see here has been copied verbatim from the author Ina Hughs' book "A Sense of Human".